Red Dead Online will feel immediately known to anyone who has played GTA Online for a couple of hours, just a couple of years. People still play that game? Yes, millions do it daily.
It's not cool to admit you're playing GTA Online. It's sneered on, for its bad backend tech fighting with giant loading times, the game's role is a haven for griefers and clowns to run around nuking each other from helicopters, flying cars and armored trucks. But scrape away the unpleasant surface, and it's a community of different tribes that play under; cyclists, car attendees with their sunday meetings, the photographers stalking the neon washed streets, the cyclist with their strict clubhouse rules. People live in Los Santos and Blaine County .
"It's not the best gun. If you win a shootout, it's because you were faster, or a better goal, or lucky or you shot an unarmed man in the back."
Red Dead Online has the same potential. Its sprawling and beautiful map is the tempting country of opportunity. From the dust-devil's desert to the metropolitan cities, the rugged snow-capped mountains and sweaty bayou ripe for hunting, fishing and pitching the tent with an eye to claim. It is a first and foremost overwhelming world to settle in, and just like Red Dead Redemption 2, you are encouraged to grow into it slowly. You have a pair of dollars in your pocket, a free shooting iron, some stuff on your back and the love of strangers to get you by.
Red Dead Online creates all men alike. And women. Sixty year old scrawny cowpokes dandy gunslingers, grizzled cowhands and brave gentlemen gamblers. There is no best gun – they are all a bit crusty and require constant maintenance. If you win a shootout, it's because you were faster, or a better goal, or lucky, or you shot an unarmed man in the back. Nobody strikes through Saint Denis with a gatling gun bolted to a chuck wagon. Not yet, anyway. These are the early days of slow progress, where half a bottle of gin, a handful of peel and a meat meat is a decent reward.
The economy is a bit rough, but I do not mind that it's cheap with payments (and this is a beta). I do not expect a gold bar for a day's work. $ 4 for delivery of posts over 20 minutes? I suppose it's a fair salary. Just over $ 5 for a rescue task that cost me most of my ammunition? I would like to trade cartridges for the excitement. But $ 1.20 for payment in a gold bracelet when a tin beans cost $ 1.50? Well, the United States was built out of exploitation and profited as much as hard work and open-mindedness, so I suppose it's (release alert) historically accurate (/ trigger warning), even if it's stuck in the wallet.
Where microtransactions go is always a concern, but I've played enough GTA Online to be pretty sure I do not have to buy real money. You should not start the game and own all available weapons within a few hours. Therefore, a Carcano Rifle costs $ 760 and is fenced behind your rank. Take time, it's fun at work.
Red Dead Online mission and free roaming activities are pure GTA Online, where you can crash another player carriage heist, or make three randoms, ban one another and tie them to a train track. Keeping the honor system from Red Dead Redemption 2 might be the smartest addition to the game, although it's still too early to see if this has far-reaching effects. But the good / bad decisions you meet – along with the strangers you work with – create a subtle push and draw friction between players. It would be nice to see who voted to let the rustler escape and who would shoot them died, especially if you plan to form a bag of ruthless assault.
Red Dead Online feels like a real step up technical from GTA Online as well. There are less painful load times and the menu structure is much nicer. The danger of adding functionality is inflated. Several menus and alternatives can slowly become archaic, but at least, the removed systems reveal only a few obvious missing features; A passive mode seems like an oversight, especially when you encourage players to get started in a game where conflict escalates quickly. More tweaks – not visible to all players on the map at any time, and a blip that disappears when you sneak – are staples of GTA and certainly come in the next few patches. To plan to take down a gangster just to get it crashed by bumbling, uninvited players are frustrating. But these early irritations are small, nothing you need to start a prayer and demand a boycott.
"Red Dead Redemption 2 does what Fallout 76 could not – create a solid, relative world where players will make their own stories, caused by the environment and the signs around them"
The major upgrades also come. GTA Online has apartments, superb suits and businesses to drive as well as staples like vehicles and weapons, new modes and missions. Many of these additions came from the players' influence – the player created modes like Snipers Vs Stunters, the support for the home-based biker community, the answer to the lowrider lifestyle. It will also come to Red Dead Online, but it's no rush and does not really need it yet. Players will not have had the opportunity to save enough money for real estate for several months, so it's ok to temper the Red Dead Online economy. Expect it when we have put enough bank jobs and animal plagues behind us to afford a shunned shack outside of Annesburg.
What Rockstar does with Red Dead Online as setting the stage and placing a game that undoubtedly has years of growth planned. It's done what Fallout 76 could not – created a solid, relatable world where players will create their own stories, caused by the environment and the signs around them. It is a world in which players are expected to grow into what Rockstar will change in response to these interaction with players. It's been done so successfully with GTA Online, and it will do it again with Red Dead Online. Society does not appear overnight, but they start settling this weekend and beyond, poking around to see where they fit. There is the opportunity here, in games, in modes, in new clothes and jobs, but more importantly, for players to make their own rules and behaviors, their own tribes in a world.